Many people think that being rich is about having enough money to do whatever you want. However, these same people miss an IMPORTANT POINT. Having millions of dollars may make you "financially rich". However you will have lived a "poor life", if you were a "slave to money" and did not have adequate time for family, friends, and the many other enjoyable things life has to offer. The following stories illustrate this point.
Shortly after Jack turned thirty, he married his college sweetheart. Jack was a sharp and thoughtful guy, as well as a meticulous planner. Jack saw all the layoffs happening in the corporate world, and wanted to establish a safety net for his upcoming family beyond the fragile sanctuary of his day job. He was determined to give his two kids a better quality of life than he had growing up.
Jack invested in rental homes. He also bought a sandwich shop franchise.
Over the years, Jack did make money on his real estate investments. However, he also found some very unpleasant surprises. Tenant turnover was a big problem. Repairs and re-renting the properties were eating up much of Jack’s time with his family. Especially upsetting to Jack was the weekend and evening time these properties ate up. This was time he would rather have spent coaching his son’s sports team and watching his daughter’s theatrical productions.
The sandwich shop also made money. However, Jack was surprised at how hard it was to find dependable employees. Whenever an employee did not show up, Jack or his wife often had to fill in. Several times Jack had to cancel or postpone the family vacations due to employee issues.
Yes, in the end, Jack’s investments made "good money". However, his investments had made a significant negative impact on his family life, as well as his ability to spend time with friends and on other things he loved to do. There was many a time when he wondered whether all the extra money was worth the sacrifices he made.
Jill was an average student and never finished college. However, Jill had a lot of "common sense". When Jill settled down, she decided that her family would not be dependent on corporate America for their long-term well being.
Jill worked for a few years in advertising, then got married and had three children. Even before marrying, Jill began investing in real estate. Jill marketed all of her homes as "lease/purchase". She gave the tenant a locked in sales price, and three years to purchase. In exchange, the tenant assumed the repairs and maintenance responsibilities of the home. This trade-off worked for both the tenant and Jill. The tenant got a fair deal on the home, and Jill found that she was able to build up a nice portfolio of homes without the typical problems (a lot of time, energy, and headaches) inherent in most rentals. Because of her real estate success and ease of investing, she saw no need to consider other businesses (like a sandwich shop).
Jill made "great money" from her real estate investments. However, most importantly, Jill’s investments never took up a significant portion of her "invaluable and irreplaceable time" with family, friends, and her other interests. Best of all, she felt like she was living a "full and wonderful life".
Sadly, we all know plenty of Jacks. People who seem to be a slave to the very investments that were intended to provide "freedom" for them and their families. The investors do their best job to rationalize with defenses, such as "I am doing this for my kids" or "one day this is going to pay off". However, they often miss out on many of life’s most precious gifts… quality time with family, friends, and other interests.
We can speak from experience. We are "regular people" like you. We have always tried to live good lives, make an honest living, invest on the side, spend quality time with family and friends, take nice vacations, enjoy hobbies, and more.
When Scott met Andy in the late 1980’s, he was managing a portfolio of headaches (pure rental properties) that were eating up a lot of his time and energy. The money was pretty good, but it wasn’t making up for the hassles. Because of this negative experience, Scott almost decided to give up on real estate investing. However, both considered that the flaw may be with the system (landlording), not the investment category (real estate).
Over time we developed a model similar to Jill’s (lease/purchasing). After a combined more than forty years and approximately 100 properties, we can say that we have developed an investment strategy that minimizes our time, energy, and headaches, while it maximizes our profits. We’ve also developed an easy to use strategy for efficiently buying discount properties (more specifically, post foreclosures, aka "REOs").
Some years, our side real estate investments have made more money than our individual successful careers, and this on an average of just 5 – 6 hours per week. More importantly, during this time we have enjoyed a higher quality of life with our families due to the financial freedom that comes with "smart investing".
Don’t be a JACK! Life is so short, and it is not enough to end up with a huge pot of gold. Rather, be a JILL! It is more important to enjoy the journey of life along the way. This is what we refer to as "REGULAR RICHES".
REGULAR RICHES is about living a "full and wonderful life". Because everyone is different, an individual’s definition of a "full and wonderful" life may vary. However, what will always be the same is having enough TIME and MONEY (not simply one or the other) for what one truly loves.
How can one tell if the investment he or she is considering will produce REGULAR RICHES and truly enhance their lives like Jill’s investments did? Here are five questions we suggest you ask yourself before diving into an investment. These questions will help you assess whether the investment you are considering has the potential of producing REGULAR RICHES.
Five Questions for Choosing REGULAR RICHES INVESTMENTS Put your investment to the following test, asking these five questions. Yes to 4 or 5 indicates an investment opportunity that has the potential to provide "Regular Riches", and worthy of further research and consideration:
Andy Heller is co-author of the Fortune Magazine recommended book "Buy Low, Rent Smart, Sell High" and together with his partner, Scott Frank, have approximately 40 years of combined real estate investing experience and have purchased, rented and sold approximately 100 residential properties. Andy Heller is a regular guest speaker at CT REIA. Go here for the current list of upcoming real estate investing seminars in Connecticut.
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